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Have the urge to gamble online from the US? Visit Canada!

With the latest crackdowns in the US of online gambling sites (see Bodog), perhaps now is the time for American gamblers to visit Canada. The Ottawa Citizen reports this week that Canadian authorities aren’t following the lead of American law enforcement.

Are you ready for online gambling travel packages?

“For police authorities, it’s not their top priority,” said Stanley Sadinsky, a law professor emeritus at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario. “They have much bigger fish to fry,” said Sadinsky, who developed a gambling law course.

According to industry estimates, Canadians are shelling out as much as $4 billion annually on offshore gambling sites, even though Canadian law states that only provinces may legally run lotteries or betting games on the Internet.

“There hasn’t been a huge public outcry,” said Paul Burns, vice-president of the Canadian Gaming Association. “There’s a high level of acceptance of offshore operators in Canada.”

Could it be that Canadians are focusing on violent crime and terrorism investigations instead of busting “rock star online casino owners” like Bodog.com founder Calvyn Ayre (who was indicted in a Maryland federal court last week)?

Perhaps American gamblers will postpone their Florida vacations this summer and head north instead. Entrepreneurial Canadian travel agencies can put together “online gambling travel packages” combining a hotel with a computer at the bar or restaurant. How about “scenic online gambling” – a laptop, wi-fi connection on a lake or mountain top!

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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